Balance

A few weeks ago, I woke up to the sun coming over the mountains.

I did sun salutations with a small family of elk.

I didn’t need an alarm. 

I was removed from email and notifications.

My thoughts didn’t race from task to task, but were calm and relaxed.

It was an odd utopia that didn’t last as long as I wished.

When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

- Lao Tzu

As I enter my third year of working in academy, I am going to try to hold on to that feeling.

Try to let my mind go blank, even for a moment. 

In today’s ever increasing world of “access”, it’s important to find the balance to relax, to separate work from life. 

For without it, we’ll continue to drain ourselves with increased deadlines, expectations, and “work”. All the while, forgetting to take a moment to enjoy the journey.

For this semester, I am setting an intention to continue to hold on to this balance. 

I am saying “no” to anything new until at least half of what I have currently is finished.

I am scheduling my writing, as I do my teaching. No exceptions. No, we’ll I guess I can meet during that time. It is sacred.

I am going to the gym in the morning on my way to work. 

I am taking time to spend with my loved ones. Quality time

... and... 

I am going to take moment, every now and then, to sit and do nothing.

I’ll write more about these later and we’ll see where I am in December, but for now, I’m going to go do nothing.

Finding Time for Self.

Happy new year, everyone! Over the last few weeks, I have had time to relax and reflect. As the semester moves along and project start running their course, it is easy to be caught up and keep moving. It isn't until there is a chance to step back and even step away from something, that we can view the whole picture again. Often, we are too focused on the tasks right in front of us. When project and work tasks start to take over, it is easy to become consumed by everything that needs to be done. Everyone of every profession battles this; the constant struggle between balancing work and life. Ultimately, a lack of balance, in either direction, can not work out successfully. Either we end up burnt out or unproductive.

 

As a phd candidate, grad student, and researcher, there is always a push to do more and work on projects 24/7, but without a break every now and then for sanity, everything suffers. For myself, getting into nature is always a way to relax; whether it be on foot, two wheels, or attached to a rope. Over the last year, I have managed to do a good amount of exploring in central Virginia with my wife, as well as some other friends and family. This disconnect allows me to step back and rejuvenate myself, but also gives some time to see what is going on. It is often in these moments that things become clear and I may find the answer to a question I was searching for or the ladder (sometimes a sledgehammer) I needed to get over a road block. 

Let me lead you through a picture timeline, cause pictures are more fun anyway.

So, what is it you do for relaxation to separate your work and home lives? Feel free to share in the comments.